What is this Country about Anymore?

Meet Mark. He's a 58 year old, college-educated veteran who lives in Oregon. He was laid off last September and has been unable to find work since. Mark's state unemployment benefits ran out in May. Since funding for the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program was cut last December, Mark and more than three million other Americans, including nearly 300,000 veterans, have been denied access to a second six months of support — a vital financial lifeline in this tough economy. Mark is way behind in his rent, is selling everything of value he owns, and fears he will be homeless soon.

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To Fix Our Roads, We Need to Repair the Potholes in the Budget

In about a month, the nation’s Highway Trust Fund, the principal source of funding for repairing and rebuilding our country’s highways, will run dry. Paving projects across the country will grind to a halt, and construction workers, currently making good money, will join nearly 10 million of their fellow unemployed Americans.

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Happy Juneteenth!

Today is Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day. It is the day in 1865 when slaves were freed in Texas after Union troops conquered the state two and a half months after Lee surrendered in Virginia. June 19th marked the completion of freeing all the former slaves in the United States.

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The Biggest Change to Social Security You've Never Heard About

There's been lots of debate and discussion lately about how to shore up Social Security for future generations. But already there are dramatic changes underway that threaten to end Social Security as we know it -- yet almost no one has even heard of it.

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Not a Game: Women and Families Hit Hard by Long-Term Unemployment

Word association game. I’ll go. I say, “9 months.” You say…?

Pregnancy.

School year.

Average period of unemployment.

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Estate Tax Gutted by Loopholes

In 2012, the nation’s estate tax collected just $8.5 billion – a fraction of one percent of the $1.2 trillion of accumulated wealth that passed to heirs. A dozen years earlier, in 2000, the estate tax recycled nearly five times more money back into society ($40 billion – after adjusting for inflation).  

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International Monetary Fund Supports Minimum Wage Increase

This week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) joined the chorus of voices supporting a U.S. minimum wage increase. The IMF noted that raising the wage should be a part of a policy agenda to “fortify the country’s economic future.”

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Repatriating Taxes: An Unwarranted Gift to Unpatriotic Corporations

June 14 is Flag Day. It marks an important day in the nation’s history: the Continental Congress passed a resolution that established the nation’s first flag on June 14, 1777. This used to be a national secular holiday, when most households showed their patriotism and loyalty to the United States by flying its flag. But the nation doesn’t seem to be in a celebratory mood these days, and Flag Day may not offer a lift to our national pride.

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Outsourcing Public Jobs Undermines the Middle Class

An excellent new study by In the Public Interest, Race to the Bottom: How Outsourcing Public Services Rewards Corporations and Punishes the Middle Class, makes the important connections between outsourcing public services and public-sector jobs, the shrinking of the American middle class, and the increase in economic inequality in the United States.

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Witness Wednesdays: Stories of the Long-Term Unemployed to Be Read on Capitol Hill

Starting tomorrow and continuing through the end of July, political, faith, labor and nonprofit leaders will gather outside the Capitol each Wednesday to read and listen to the stories that more than 2,000 Americans have shared.

These stories will make vivid and visible the senseless hardship and unnecessary struggle that hard-working Americans have been exposed to as a result of political obstruction.

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